From the time I was a small child on, I have expressed myself through drawing and painting. I spent hours committing people, places, animals, and things to memory so that I could draw what I thought they looked like on paper. The freedom to hold pencil, pen, marker or crayon in hand and create an environment, real or imaginary, from scratch still excites me to this day.
I find drawing one of the most liberating forms of expression that there is. Few tools are required. You just need something to draw with and something to draw on.
I used to spend hours outside my home as a little girl, using what I called "chalk rocks" to draw elaborate house plans on the sidewalk. I even had a bed that I would draw complete with blankets and pillows with the powdery white rocks.
Painting and drawing gave me endless freedom to explore the world around me. It allowed me to work out problems that were complicated. It gave me a means for creative play when there were no other children around to engage with.
I still find myself drawing nearly every day as an adult. It's part of who I am as a person and artist. I went to art school for illustration and have found drawing to be an integral part of who I am as a professional, too.
I doodle while I'm on the phone. I draw the notes that I take, too, making sure to create symbols that I remember and can recite from memory. Painting and drawing has helped my studies, improved my communication skills, and enriched my life in many ways.
Everyone Can Draw
Very few children question their ability to create art. They simply create for creation sake. Pablo Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
When doubt creeps in, the child who once drew with a fervor censors his or her own work because they feel that it isn't good enough. They see one of their friends drawing better than they can and they give up a skill that is innate and a true part of who they are.
Even the most primitive men and women knew how to communicate with one another through cave drawings. Drawing isn't something you have to be good at initially because it's something that improves with practice.
Becoming a Master at Drawing
To be masterful at drawing, you'll practice value and texture as well as scale and perspective. If you're drawing realistic portraits, you'll want to practice shading, contouring, form, and proportion. Any good basic drawing book or tutorial will show you the basics of doing this.
If you find that your drawings are more loose or whimsical, you may find success as a cartoonist or a doodler. There are many people making money off these art forms today. If you're doing it just for a fun, a sketchbook tells the tale of the progress you've made as you've practiced regularly.
Commit to a Daily Drawing Practice
No matter how you draw, committing to a regular practice helps you improve your skills. Carry a small drawing kit with you in your bag or purse. It can be as simple as a notebook and a pencil.
The internet has many drawing challenges you can take part of. I've done many and enjoyed each one. There are also apps that provide you with prompts that you can use to grow your drawing work.
Instagram provides a place to house your work if you want to show your progress. It's a great place for locating new challenges and even connecting with other people who love to draw. It's my favorite social media platform because it's mainly visual which provides endless creative inspiration for me.
The Sketchbook Project offered by The Brooklyn Art Library lets you share your drawings with the world. You're given a sketchbook to fill out and a theme to follow. You send it back to The Sketchbook Project and it becomes part of a permanent art exhibit that other people can interact with.
Make the Decision to Start Today
If you want to excel at drawing, you've got to start somewhere. Take out your supplies and start making marks. Warm up by doing some blind contour drawings.
Don't look at the paper, and try to draw what you see. It helps loosen you up and prepare you for drawing in a more structured way. I always do blind contour drawings before I start a personal or professional project.
Then, start drawing. Keep your handy kneaded eraser close by to erase any marks you're not happy with. Start with simple shapes and then build upon them.
This is how you draw successfully. You let go of expectations and experiment. You take what you know of the world and you translate it into images.
It doesn't matter if it's abstract art or contemporary art. Drawing may even lead to you completing a landscape painting or painting pictures of your pets. You can then hang your wall art where others can see it in your home or workplace.